(Reuters) - As many as 20 Conservative Party members of parliament from the 2019 intake plan to submit letters of no confidence in UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday, a Daily Telegraph editor posted on Twitter on Tuesday. The number could exceed the 54 letters required for a confidence vote on the prime minister, according to the tweet. (Reporting by Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
Stories Chosen For You
Now that his career in politics has been derailed, if not permanently ended, after his stunning loss in North Carolina's Republican primary on Tuesday, outgoing Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) made an ominous threat after the defeat that could portend a coming campaign of revenge against the Republicans who helped pave the way to voters giving him the boot.
Despite the endorsement of Donald Trump, Cawthorn's re-election campaign collapsed in part because the GOP leaders in his home state, as well as Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), did all they could to oust him after a flood of scandals and missteps that reached a crisis point when he claimed conservatives in Washington D.C. engaged in cocaine-fueled orgies.
With Cawthorn headed for the exit after the November midterm election where he will not be on the ballot, he posted on Instagram that he doesn't plan to go quietly, writing, "I am on a mission now to expose those who say and promise one thing yet legislate and work towards another, self-profiteering, globalist goal. The time for genteel politics as usual has come to an end. It’s time for the rise of the new right, it’s time for Dark MAGA to truly take command. We have an enemy to defeat, but we will never be able to defeat them until we defeat the cowardly and weak members of our own party. Their days are numbered. We are coming.”
According to Maddowblog analyst Steve Benen, that should set off alarms among Republicans hoping to put Cawthorn and his shenanigans behind them.
As Benen wrote, things could get "ugly."
Writing that Cawthorn seems "focused on vengeance," the MSNBC analyst wrote, "At this point, it’s difficult to say which 'cowardly and weak' Republicans he intends to target as part of his new 'mission," adding, "it’s not at all clear how Cawthorn would go after his intra-party opponents, though his purported efforts might offer a possible wrinkle to the GOP’s election-year plans."
As for what the ousted lawmaker means by "Dark MAGA," Benen notes that Politico describes it as "an ‘edgier’ version of the Trump-supporting MAGA-verse," with Benen predicting "Those who think Donald Trump’s 'Make America Great Again' message has been little more than puppies and rainbows should apparently prepare for a new iteration that’s angry and dreary."
Trump-era 'creatures of the swamp' let off the hook by DC attorney general for alleged scam that ruined investors
A pair of politically connected Donald Trump allies were let off the hook by District of Columbia’s attorney general for an alleged fraud that embarrassed the U.S. at the 2020 World Expo in Dubai.
D.C. attorney general Karl Racine sued the nonprofit Pavilion USA 2020, which had been started by political operative Fred Bush and international trade lawyer Alan Dunn, for alleged "mismanagement and greed," but The Daily Beast found investigators signed off on a deal last month that allowed their insurance company to pay a $220,000 settlement and let them go free without admitting guilt or liability.
“The only thing this case discouraged, as far as I can tell, is people like me from coming forward and helping with their investigations,” said Greg Houston, the nonprofit’s CEO-turned-star witness. “I lost my savings, my credibility, and my livelihood over my involvement with Pavilion USA. The D.C. taxpayers spent countless funds on the investigation and case, and it’s the taxpayers and nonparties like me who were the ones who ended up paying the tab for this whole thing."
The State Department tapped Bush, whose son served there during the Trump era, and Dunn, a former assistant secretary at the Commerce Department, to represent the U.S. at the modern World's Fair, but prosecutors found so much concern about the pair's spending that the nonprofit's chief financial officer quit in disgust.
“World Expo 2020 Dubai is an extremely important undertaking on behalf of the United States and the State Department. I believe it deserves the best of efforts,” wrote philanthropist Theresa E. Behrendt in her resignation. “The behavior I have witnessed over the past few weeks seems counterproductive to the success of this endeavor.”
Bush rewarded himself with a $200,000 yearly salary, with an additional $7,000 raise, and Dunn proposed a $10,000 monthly salary for himself, along with bonuses, while investors like Asad Gharwal -- who spent nearly $200,000 of his own and persuaded his associates to contribute another $750,000 -- holding the bag.
Gharwal, who ran a Minnesota restaurant and aviation food company, trusted Bush -- who was nearly appointed ambassador to Luxembourg in 1990 until the nomination was derailed by scandal -- due to his connections to the president and other political insiders.
“Fred Bush was an ambassador," Gharwal said. "I believed everything that he said. How can I not believe him? He is the fundraiser for the Republican Party. He was close to the Trump administration."
The longtime D.C. insiders had been accused of influence peddling before, and Dunn's own twin brother, Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL), had called him a "creature of the swamp," but the attorney general's deal allows them to continue contract work for nonprofits and serve on their boards anywhere outside the district, but their investors lost everything.
“My life is basically, ‘I have to start from nothing and work for someone.’ I don’t have anything left after years of doing business for myself,” Gharwal said. “Put it this way: I’m broke, and I don't have anything."
"When I put my foot on this country, I worked 15 days after my arrival as a dishwasher," he added. "I worked my entire life. I never got a penny of help from the government. I never got any financial aids. I'm proud of that, and I paid a lot of taxes. I created a lot of jobs and opportunity. But I never thought that I, in America, would face this kind of corruption.”
Trump's movement wants to rig elections so it can have 'super majorities' with only 'one-third' of voters: expert
Kim Lane Scheppele, a professor of international affairs at Princeton University and expert on Hungarian politics, tells Grid News in an interview that Trump supporters are hoping to replicate Orban's political success in the United States by rigging election rules so that they can effectively rule the country despite having the support of a minority of voters.
"Orban’s base is about the same size as Trump’s base: About a third of the Hungarian population will defend him no matter what," she explains. The rest of Orban’s victory is a combination of lying about the opposition, coming up with hot button issues that get the electorate riled up before the election, coming out with all of these social welfare benefits to essentially buy off parts of constituency and then rigged election rules."
The result, she says, is that Orban has "perfected the art of taking one-third of your public as a base and constantly locking in super-majoritarian power by rigging all the other rules."
This is more of a challenge in the United States, however, which has a longer democratic tradition and a broad media ecosystem that prevents one party or faction from establishing permanent dominance over a prolonged period of time.
In Hungary, meanwhile, Orban has shut down critical media outlets, which would be a direct violation of the United States Constitution's First Amendment.
"Orban won reelection with a campaign slogan of 'peace and security,' promising Hungarians, 'I will not drag you into war, but the opposition will,'" says Scheppele. "Which was a lie about the opposition, but Orban controls all the media, so how was the opposition going to get their views out?"